Grow Your Glutes!

By Aparna Mele

Sculpting a strong booty to fill out your favorite pair of jeans shouldn’t be the only goal. The major muscle group (made up of the dream team- your gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus) is a key player in explosive movements like jumping and sprinting. A strong butt can also help relieve low back pain and make everyday movements—like standing and climbing stairs—that much easier. These muscles play a vital role in how we walk, run, stand, sit… basically they are always doing something important. For this reason, having healthy glutes is important in maintaining good health in other areas of your body.  The impact that the health of your glutes has on your level of athletic ability cannot be overstated. Your glutes play an essential role in helping you balance, change direction, run, stop, and jump, which pretty much covers all major sports. People with strong, healthy glutes will find that they can run faster, jump higher, and carry out more complex maneuvers than their less glute-conscious competitors, so focusing on this area is a great way to take your skill to the next level in almost any sport.

Maximus creates the shape of the butt and works when you raise your thigh to the side, rotate your leg, or thrust your hips forward. The other two help the maximus raise your thigh to the side and rotate your thigh outward when your leg is straight and inwards when your hips are bent.

So many of our jobs require us to spend so much time sitting that our glutes “turn off” or stop firing as efficiently, effectively, and strongly as they should. Once our glutes stop firing, our hip flexors (the muscles that pull the thigh forward) get tight and can lead to injury.  By working out your glutes, you can provide the base of your spine with a good cushion, which will also help stabilize your hips and guide you naturally into the proper position, preventing pain in the neck, lower back, and surrounding muscles.

Beat back pain: Your glutes work to stabilize the pelvis and keep integrity of movement in the hip joint. When they are strong, your lower back doesn’t bear the brunt of your motion.

Increase athletic performance: If you want to be a stronger athlete, it is totally time to start squatting. Stronger glutes will improve your speed, agility, and jumping skills, and quick side-to-side movements will also become much easier. Every time you take a step, your glute max shores up your pelvis and sacro-ileal joint for stability. When you run, this is even more important, since the force of impact increases exponentially on each foot strike.

Prevent knee pain: Strong glute meds keep the pelvis stable from swaying side to side. When your pelvis isn’t stable, it puts a lot of pressure on your knees and ankles to compensate. When your backside is strong, it helps prevents this naturally, keeping you safe from injury.

Inspired yet? Then go out there and exercise your marvelous booty for total body performance! Look up these exercises for examples of perfect glute workouts:

  • Unilateral Stiff Leg Deadlift
  • Lateral Step Up With Kickback
  • Split Squat
  • Side Band Walking
  • Medicine Ball Hip Thrusts
  • Wide-Stance Leg Press
  • Leg Press Kickback
  • Single-Leg Smith Machine Box Squat
  • Deep Squats
  • Quadruped Hip Extensions

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